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Wallace's veg firm hit by the crunch.

The greengrocer that helped put MasterChef star Gregg Wallace on the road to fame has gone bust.

Secretts Direct went into voluntary liquidation last week.

Last night, the 48-year-old TV presenter, who owns half of the firm, blamed catastrophic farming conditions.

Gregg said: "Business is tough everywhere and this particular sector is extremely hard. Producers are being squeezed from all sides.

"Not only are farmers suffering because they can't plant or physically get produce out of the ground, but the impact of the recession has also resulted in restaurants closing or orders being a fraction of what they once were.

"It means that a small business like ours just wasn't sustainable.

"Everyone knows how close the greengrocer business has been to my heart, it put me on the path to where I am today."

His spokeswoman said they had "gone into voluntary liquidation in order to try to protect as many people as possible".

Gregg started the business in 2002 with best friend Vernon Mascarenhas, selling produce from Secretts Farm and garden in Milford, Surrey, which continues to trade.

It is not the first time Gregg has tasted business failure. In 2002, he put George Allans - another greengrocer - into receivership.

Despite this latest setback, he remains a successful businessman and runs London restaurants Wallace & Co and Gregg's Table with Vernon.

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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 31, 2013
Words:224
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